Civil Liberties

Brady Center: The Second Amendment Threatens All Gun Laws

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A story in Capitol Weekly, which covers California politics, speculates about the fallout from a Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller overturning the District of Columbia's gun ban. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for next month, with a ruling expected by the end of June. Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, is excited:

Any definition of the Second Amendment as an individual right is going to open up all kinds of legal avenues for us to overturn gun laws. We will change our focus from lobbying to legal action because the Legislature will be neutered. Any time they sponsor legislation we think is unconstitutional, we will challenge it.

Paredes mentions California's bans on "assault weapons" and .50-caliber guns as possible targets. But Robert Levy, the Cato Institute legal scholar who bankrolled the case, injects a note of caution:

"It lays the framework for challenging gun laws nationwide," Levy said. "It's a necessary step," he added, but not sufficient on its own. Lower courts would still need to rule that the case applied to state laws, he said, though it is likely they would; in almost all cases, courts have found that the Bill of Rights applies to state laws. Even then, he added, courts may still find that some types of guns could still be regulated, such as so-called assault weapons.

Knowing that he is supposed to disagree with anything Levy says, Dennis Henigan of the Brady Center to End Gun Violence takes the opposite position:

Bob Levy has a very strong vested interest in making statements like that. He wants to make this case seem as unthreatening as possible. If you try to pin these guys down on which guns laws they think are consistent with the Second Amendment, they won't tell you.

So here we have a Second Amendment advocate conceding that some forms of gun control could be found constitutional even if the courts recognize an individual right to keep and bear arms, while the gun control advocate argues that every firearm regulation is threatened. I love it. Here's something else that surprised me:

Normally considered liberals, Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are both sympathetic to "reasonable gun rights," [gun law expert Irwin] Nowick added. A narrowly crafted individual right could win 7-2, he said.

Which reinforces Levy's point that a victory in D.C. v. Heller would be just the beginning of figuring out which gun laws are consistent with the Second Amendment. As Dan Polsby put it in reason back in 1996, the courts will finally have to treat the Second Amendment as "normal constitutional law." Last year I welcomed the ruling the Supreme Court is now reviewing, the federal appeals court decision declaring the D.C. gun law unconstitutional.

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  1. You know, I’m really hopeful for the “individual” view from the court, but this case still really scares me.

  2. I would be tickled pink if the outcome of Heller was a ruling stating that any proposed gun control legislation would have to pass a strict scrutiny test.

    Sam Paredes, along with a lot of gun owners are, I think, being a bit too optimistic about it.

    Even if the outcome of Heller was exactly what they wanted, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in properly challenging blatantly unconstitutional gun laws such as Chicago’s ban on handguns or California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

  3. My prediction: the court will rule that there is an individual right to bear arms, that gun laws cannot impose an undue burden on that right, and rule that the DC handgun ban imposes an undue burden on people seeking to keep a gun for self-defense.

    It will take several more cases to create a working definition of what the bundle of rights is, and what regulations impose an undue burden.

  4. [only semi-off topic]

    mediageek,

    A long while back you posted a link to a bunch of amusing writings (I believe from the ’90s) by someone who passed away. I was thinking about them the other day, but could not for the life of me remember the guy’s name. I would be most appreciative if you could point me in the right direction.

  5. You know, I’m really hopeful for the “individual” view from the court, but this case still really scares me.

    Indeed. A court that can find McCain-Feingold constitutional is very scary. If they can’t get the 1st Amendment right, how will they get the 2nd?

  6. disarmed-

    That was probably Laissez Firearm aka http://www.thegunzone.com/people/laissezfirearm.html“>Mark Penman.

    He was truly an under appreciated writer in his day, and his death only served to illustrate just what his potential as one of the new crop of internet-based gun writers could have been.

  7. joe,
    I agree with your prognostication. Defining undue burden is going to be difficult indeed. As vitrolic as many were over the “assault weapons” ban debate, I wondered what all the noise was about. Semi-automatic weapons remained legal which IMHO caused neither an undue burden or increased public safety.

    FWIW, I’m a supporter of the right to bear arms but I’m not a gun aficianado.

  8. I wondered what all the noise was about.

    My biggest issue with it was that due to how inanely the bill was written, it would be exceptionally easy for someone who was not cognizant of the ins and outs of the law to inadvertently violate it and thereby commit a felony.

  9. A court that can find McCain-Feingold constitutional is very scary. If they can’t get the 1st Amendment right, how will they get the 2nd?

    Too true that. In that vein a hundred other travesty of justice cases need to be corrected before we get to the inconvenience of gun control.

  10. My biggest issue with it was that due to how inanely the bill was written, it would be exceptionally easy for someone who was not cognizant of the ins and outs of the law to inadvertently violate it and thereby commit a felony.

    I agree that it was crappilly drafted legislation. Why is it that lawmakers, most of them with post-graduate degrees, are unable to write clear and concise laws? I sometimes think it’s just job protection for attorneys.

  11. Warren, when Raich went to the supreme court, I didn’t decry that it was a case that could be put off until later because anti-drug laws are just an “inconvenience.”

    Or the same with Kelo.

    Even though pot or property laws aren’t where my interests lay, I never decried the fact that the justice system addressed them before my particular pet issue.

    Sheeze.

  12. J sub D, would it matter if the laws were clear and concise? They still have to be implemented by bureaucrats not known for understanding the intentions of politicians, even when clearly spelled out.

  13. Why is it that lawmakers, most of them with post-graduate degrees, are unable to write clear and concise laws?

    Malice or ignorance, take your pick. Reading some of the justifications they had for restricting this-or-that feature of a weapon truly approaches high comedy.

    And then there are the weapons that were banned by name. The law drafters quite literally went through a picture book of guns, and duly recorded the names of all of the scary looking guns, right down to at least one misspelling.

  14. In my county in Upstate NY I would be hard pressed to get a handgun permit for any reason. If I move one county east, north, or west I’d have no problem whatsoever. If I moved one county south, they’d probably lock me up for asking for one because it implies (to them) that I have bad intentions. The decision whether or not to issue a handgun permit isentirely up to the county court judge working that day and his or her interpretation of a 400 page law.

    Now, if I want a rifle, all I have to do is go to Walmart and tell them I want to kill a four-legged creature.

  15. Not only that media geek, in NY where most assembleypersons are from the NYC area, they simply give the response (when pertaining to handgun laws I mentioned above) as to why they won’t revisit the bill that confuses some judges, “I’d rather have more restriction than less.” Journalists have stopped asking why.

  16. J sub D,

    Semi-automatic weapons remained legal which IMHO caused neither an undue burden or increased public safety.

    It will be interesting to see to what degree they Supreme Court will claim for itself the power to make judgement calls about such laws’ efficacy.

    For example, if a state legislature decides that semi-automatic rifles or 15 round magazines are sufficiently more dangerous than bolt-action rifles or 10 round magazines, and bans those guns, will the courts take it on themselves to make findings of fact about whether the legislature was correct in their judgement.

  17. will the courts take it on themselves to make findings of fact about whether the legislature was correct in their judgement.

    Way to go.

    Casting a “summon Dave W.” spell in the middle of the thread.

  18. Or someone could just show the Justices a dictionary with the definition of “infringed” highlighted….

  19. Gee, thanks, Craig.

    I was wondering how many comments it would take before “You can’t read!” was presented as a serious argument.

  20. Joe, I don’t think it’s really possible to measure the relative “danger level” of a particular firearm, simply because attempting to measure the lethality of a weapon is, quite frankly so nebulous as to border on the impossible.

    Then, of course, you’d get to the point where people would come up with new and improved definitions of “dangerousness” that would be pseudo-scientific at best.

    Perhaps we should all simply agree that any firearm is capable of being lethally dangerous, and leave it at that.

    What it boils down to is the level of skill of the person wielding said arm.

  21. if a state legislature decides that semi-automatic rifles or 15 round magazines are sufficiently more dangerous than bolt-action rifles or 10 round magazines, and bans those guns, will the courts take it on themselves to make findings of fact about whether the legislature was correct in their judgement.

    just make sure you buy one before any of that nonsense happens.

  22. Mediageek,

    I don’t think it takes any great leap of logic to conclude that belt-fed machine guns or explosive ordnance are more lethal than .22 pitols, just to take the two extremes.

    Similarly, I don’t think its quesitonable that an assault rifle modified for full automatic fire is more dangerous than a semi-automatic rifle.

    Certainly, the lethality of a weapon is going to vary depending on the user, but that doesn’t mean that the skill of the user is the only variable.

  23. Joe-

    Snide answer:
    Robert Kennedy might have something to say about the relative lethality of a .22

    More thoughtful answer:

    The problem is that it’s certainly not nearly as cut and dried as you make it out to be.

    The circumstances of the crime and the skill of the user will always play a bigger part than the weapon being used.

    Banning certain types of weapons isn’t going to stop crime (as you yourself have stated) and I have to question the wisdom of preventing law-abiding citizens from legally possessing any sort of firearm, especially if it involves locking them up merely for owning a firearm that the powers that be deem to be “too dangerous.”

  24. Prediction:
    The court will construe the 2nd as establishing an individual right that the government can override if it has an interest in doing so. Any reason at all will constitute an interest, including a desire to increase tax revenues.

  25. joe,

    That’s a pretty good prediction. I don’t see the court making the case that all gun control laws are out. There’s going to be some restrictions left that will pass constitutional muster. (Insert std disclaimer number whatever about “infringed” and no restrictions, etc) I don’t see a sweeping victory out of this court simply because the current court is rather sympathetic to government.

    The problem with the assault weapons nonsense is that there is no simple definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon”. It’s a loaded political term that has no meaning. The closest real definition would be select fire weapons, which are already so tightly regulated as to be absurd.

    For a real fun time, try dealing with the Sec 922 R rules on whether or not a gun counts as imported or not. You have to count components and their country of origin. If so many components are made in the US, it’s good. If you’re off by one, it’s imported and therefore illegal. Keep in mind, one of the components you have to count is the magazine. So you can have a weapon where if you insert the wrong magazine the entire firearm is illegal.

  26. Contrary to what Mr. Levy stated, all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights have not been “incorporated” under the Fourteenth Amendment (applied to the states) by the federal courts. Specifically, the Second, Third, Seventh, and Eighth, have not been expressly incorporated. Whether the Second Amendment is a right that will be incorporated is an open question to be decided by the Supreme Court, and it’s not clear that the answer will likely be yes.

  27. Professor Chaos is probably correct.

    Because after all, even though the Bill of Rights was demanded and specifically enacted in order to make it clear that no power granted under the Constitution was to conflict with the rights enumerated in it, corrupt courts have spent the last two centuries ruling that few of the rights mean what they actually say.

    They really should just throw out the Constitution and replace it with the sentence, “If you think you have a good enough reason, do whatever the fuck you want.”

  28. Mediageek – Regarding your snide-itity, we had a triple murder this summer. The killer walked into a store, and shot the clerk and two customers with a .22 Revolver. All three men died at the scene before police arrived.

    Joe – While a full-auto rifle may be capable of spraying more rounds per second, that is not the end all of lethality. Also, FA weapons are already available to the public, you must simply provide a lot of money to the Gummint, and have your background thoroughly checked at several levels. Most citizens who are in favor of relaxing gun control see FA weapons as toys, although they still respect them as dangerous toys. Think “racecar”. Do you need to be able to go 190 MPH? No. Can you legally? In a very few regulated areas. Can you still own a car that can go 190 MPH? If you can afford it….

  29. Why is it that lawmakers, most of them with post-graduate degrees, are unable to write clear and concise laws?

    I would guess that at least half of them can, as individuals. It’s writing laws as a 435-person committee that doesn’t work. Then there’s the process of grafting the new law into the volumes of existing law.

    Bob Levy has a very strong vested interest in making statements like that. He wants to make this case seem as unthreatening as possible.

    Henigan, of course, has a very strong vested interest in making this case seem as threatening as possible. Pot>>Kettle>>Black.

    It will take several more cases to create a working definition of what the bundle of rights is, and what regulations impose an undue burden.

    I think there will be two additional components in the finding:

    1. On the flip side of “undue burden” as I remember, strict construction requires a higher standard when it comes to showing that a law is necessary. The old “this law might save some life somewhere some time” might no longer be adequate to override an established individual right.

    2. Establishing RKBA as an individual civil right opens wide the possibility of challenging laws that result in defacto discrimination. For instance the discretionary issuance of licenses to possess or carry firearms where the results are clearly discriminatory.

    What it boils down to is the level of skill of the person wielding said arm.

    Not really. Motivation is much more important. A skilled rifleman intent on drilling paper bull’s-eyes at 500 yards is not dangerous at all. A gang-banger who hardly knows how to jerk a trigger but is willing to shoot into a crowd is very dangerous.

    On a related note, the “Brady Gun-Law Defense Fund” touts “Thank you for making a tax deductible contribution to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence!” (Emphasis added.)

    AFAIK lobbying contributions are not tax deductible.

  30. Dangerman-

    That’s no surprise. Statistically speaking, guns chambered in .22 are one of the most (if not the most) commonly used to commit crimes.

  31. So what Dangerman is saying is: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Got it. Works for me. Ban all people. People are fuckers.

  32. mediageek: Perhaps we should all simply agree that any firearm is capable of being lethally dangerous, and leave it at that.

    I don’t agree. But thanks for the offer.

    Couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring up a variation on “guns don’t kill – people do) – so to your statement I substitute “… in the hands of a human.” for …and leave it at that.

    and from Joe
    The circumstances of the crime and the skill of the user will always play a bigger part than the weapon being used.

    The circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using the object will always determine the lethality of the weapon being used.

    – fixed that for you Joe (and others who forget the difference between inanimate objects and animate operations with intent.)

    In 1993, I started an experiment because of certain discussions going on at the time about the “lethality” of various firearms: I picked on of my most “dangerous” fireams, as defined by certain “authorities” (dontcha just love “scare” quotes), a 357 mag revolver, did nothing to restrain it, or prevent it from being what it is (such as chaining, or fencing it in, as as I’d do if it were another “dangerous” item like a dog). I observe it, and was prepared to note any change in its condition or activity.

    For some time I waited for it to harm/kill someone – I even, according to the above mentioned “authorities” endangered my childre by conducting this experiment.

    As of today the revolver has remained passive and has not threatened harm, or acted any more dangerously than other lumps of metal and wood or plastic in my home. Item such as my hammers, portable drills, meat cleaver, rolling pins, hatchets, baseball bats – I could go on…

    I’m still waiting (though somewhat less alert after 15 years I will admit)for that .357 mag, or any one of those items to live up to a reputation as lethal. Potentially lethal -yep- actually so, -nope- not without some input from some human.

  33. Nick | February 8, 2008, 2:33pm | #
    So what Dangerman is saying is: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Got it. Works for me. Ban all people. People are fuckers.

    Pretty much got it there Nick!

  34. Not really. Motivation is much more important. A skilled rifleman intent on drilling paper bull’s-eyes at 500 yards is not dangerous at all. A gang-banger who hardly knows how to jerk a trigger but is willing to shoot into a crowd is very dangerous.

    Larry, I think that we’re pretty well in agreement. I certainly don’t labor under the delusion that competitive shooters are any more dangerous than your average citizen.

    Perhaps I should have included something about the intent of the shooter, as well as general skill level.

    Couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring up a variation on “guns don’t kill – people do) – so to your statement I substitute “… in the hands of a human.” for …and leave it at that.

    Not being one prone to anthropomorphizing inanimate objects, I saw no reason to qualify my statement with “in the hands of a human” as that strikes me as a pretty self-evident qualifier.

  35. KD, you didn’t fix anything.

    All you did was demonstrate that you don’t understand the “John is a man” fallacy.

    “The circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using the object” are variables that determine a weapon’s lethallity. Therefore, all variables that determine a weapons lethality are “the circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using the object.”

    You get a D.

  36. Tell me, KD, do you bring similar logic to your opinion about the dangerousness of laws?

    Hey, an authorization for the President to order people tortured isn’t dangerous. I can sit here and stare at this piece of paper for years and it won’t torture anybody…blah blah blah.

    No, of course you don’t. Very dishonest argument.

  37. Contrary to what Mr. Levy stated, all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights have not been “incorporated” under the Fourteenth Amendment (applied to the states) by the federal courts. Specifically, the Second, Third, Seventh, and Eighth, have not been expressly incorporated. Whether the Second Amendment is a right that will be incorporated is an open question to be decided by the Supreme Court, and it’s not clear that the answer will likely be yes.

    The only statements on point are a couple of passing mentions in dicta. Both treated the 2A as being on par with the other incorporated amendments.

    I would give the odds of incorporation at much better than 50%.

  38. The problem with the assault weapons nonsense is that there is no simple definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon”.

    Very true. Most if not all guns banned as “assault weapons” are functionally identical to perfectly legal semi-auto rifles. Aside from the specific models banned (all of which have functionally identical replacements on the market), what was banned was a bunch of cosmetics like “flash hiders” and “pistol grips”.

    The most bening interpretation of the assault weapon ban was that it was meaningless feel-good legislation. No small number of its proponents regarded it as an important first step on the proverbial slippery slope of banning more and more guns based on various features.

  39. Specifically, the Second, Third, Seventh, and Eighth, have not been expressly incorporated.

    Has the Third ever been adjudicated? I’m honestly asking. I know it hasn’t come up lately.

  40. No, the most benign interpretation of the AWB is that its proponents thought about the nightmare scenario of a sombody shooting at people in a crowd in a public place, and tried to ban weapons that would make it easier for him to do so and avoid being stopped.

    Flash suppressors make it harder to spot where shots are coming from. Pistol grips on long guns make it easier to hide on under a coat. Large-capacity magazines make it easier to get off more shots before having to reload.

    Agree with the law or not, it is possible to hold a different opinion about gun control without it being a secret plot to march all the gun owners off to a camp.

  41. Just to save people a lot of furious typing, I don’t think the AWB was a good law, and I’ve already heard the reasons why it was poorly written.

  42. Flash suppressors make it harder to spot where shots are coming from.

    Uh…not really. Flash suppressors typically work by venting the gasses in such a way that they don’t obscure one’s sight picture.

    Reducing muzzle flash has a lot more to do with powder than it does with the shape of the doohickey on the end of the muzzle.

    Pistol grips on long guns make it easier to hide on under a coat.

    Joe, I have a pistol-gripped AR15. You’re more than welcome to try to carry it concealed in a manner that is non-obvious, or comfortable for any length of time, if you like.

    Large-capacity magazines make it easier to get off more shots before having to reload.

    Even someone who’s completely unfamiliar with firearms can be taught to execute a sub-three second magazine change. I suppose I’ll agree that it’s right to lock up law-abiding citizens for possession of stamped sheet metal when it can be shown that a magazine capacity limit actually ever was an effective way to limit the number of people killed.

    Agree with the law or not, it is possible to hold a different opinion about gun control without it being a secret plot to march all the gun owners off to a camp.

    Except that even though the ban on so-called “assault weapons” had practically zero impact on crime, those who support gun control effectively believe that the justice system is right to punish a citizen who violates the law by, say, customizing a rifle with an adjustable stock.

  43. “Robert Kennedy might have something to say about the relative lethality of a .22”

    splat?

    i know they probably don’t mean to, but the brady center folk really do come off as complete scum.

  44. Pistol grips on long guns make it easier to hide on under a coat.

    I don’t see how. A pistol grip does not make a long gun any shorter or less bulky. Just scarier to some folks.

    Perhaps you’re thinking of a folding stock.

    Many turkey hunters find this shot gun perfectly suited for their sport.

  45. Well mediageek, have you considered the possibility that not everyone on Capitol Hill is as brilliant as you, and maybe the law was written poorly in an effort to accomplish perfectly reasonable goals?

    Or that maybe you’re making things up – for example, by substituting “AR-15” for what I actually wrote, “long gun” – so that you don’t have to do the intellectual heavy lifing of reconciling two justified by competing objectives?

    I mean, look at this: Even someone who’s completely unfamiliar with firearms can be taught to execute a sub-three second magazine change. Um, so what? This is the statement that you are presenting your argument as a rebuttal to: Large-capacity magazines make it easier to get off more shots before having to reload. So…what? Have you ever seen what panicked people full of adrenaline can do in three seconds? Cover almost 100′ of ground at a dead run, get around corner, warn a room full of people.

    Funny, you hold arguments you don’t agree with to godlike levels of precision, but something that kinda-sorta sounds like it might help make your case leads you to accept incredibly sloppy reasoning.

    Tell you what, you keep calling firearms “stamped sheet metal,” and I’ll call the Kelo decision “letters typed on paper,” and we laugh at all the fools who think such things are dangerous.

  46. Isaac,

    A pistol grip does not make a long gun any shorter or less bulky.

    I hate this dishonest shit. You KNOW the answer to this objection – you can cut the stock off a rifle with a pistol grip and it will still be usable, and take off almost a foot of length and a great deal of bulk – and you pretend not to so you can make a point.

    The fact that gun rights supporters descend into willful dishonesty strongly suggests that they themesleves aren’t confident that they are right on the facts.

  47. OK, Isaac, for the new car, the trip to Maui, and the bedroom set: would that shotgun be easier to hide under a coat, or harder, if the rifle stock was cut off just behind the grip?

  48. How about you, mediageek? See that firearm in the link Isaac provides?

    Show us all how honest you are: would that weapon be easier to conceal under a coat if the stock was cut off behind the pistol grip?

    A little more intellectual honesty, please. You shouldn’t have to lie, dissemble, or play dumb to make your case.

  49. Just to save people a lot of furious typing, I don’t think the AWB was a good law, and I’ve already heard the reasons why it was poorly written.

    For someone claiming to hold those opinions you certainly spend an awful lot of time defending the law’s proponents.

    Well mediageek, have you considered the possibility that not everyone on Capitol Hill is as brilliant as you,…

    Have you considered the possibility that people should not be legislating on matters about whinch they are so patently ignorant?

    …and maybe the law was written poorly in an effort to accomplish perfectly reasonable goals?

    Can’t speak for mediageek, but no, I have not considered anything like that.

  50. So poorly written that its critics have to be misleading to make their case, apparently.

  51. I hate this dishonest shit. You KNOW the answer to this objection – you can cut the stock off a rifle with a pistol grip and it will still be usable, and take off almost a foot of length and a great deal of bulk – and you pretend not to so you can make a point.

    I had no idea that you were talking about sawing off the stock. For the record, you can just as easily saw off most of a conventional stock and still have a useful gun.

    not sawn off
    sawn off

    gun rights supporters descend into willful dishonesty

    Heaven knows they have a monopoly on that.

  52. Heaven knows they have a monopoly on that.?

    And there we have it.

    It’s ok, because everybody else is doing it.

  53. Has the Third ever been adjudicated?

    IIRC, exactly one case.

  54. Can’t speak for mediageek, but no, I have not considered anything like that.

    And there’s the problem. Once you take “this a conspiracy of evil,” it just becomes a matter of figuring out HOW, not WHETHER, something is a good idea.

  55. joe, haven’t you learned not to get specific about guns? You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, and it pisses people off. They end up responding by pointing out your mistakes instead of responding to your points.

    Here’s a suggestion: don’t get specific about gun features. That way you won’t say stupid things that hobbyists feel a need to correct. If you were a motorhead and I kept referring to a “427 Cobra Jet” you might get annoyed too.

  56. I think that the term “lethality” is being misused a bit here. I think that when people speak of firearm “lethality,” they really mean to say, “suitability for combat.” Further, suitability for combat is a logical, rational, perfectly normal reason to select one gun over another. If I have to defend my life with a gun, I want the gun to be well-suited to the job.

  57. joe,

    If the issue was sawing off the stock, why didnt they make a sawn off stock part of the law instead of the pistol grip?

    The issue was the pistol grip. Not the stock.

  58. BTW, how does a bayonet mount make shooting into a crowd easier?

    Did I miss the huge uptick in drive-by bayonettings in the 80s and early 90s that led to that feature being included?

  59. And in reply to what you posted while I was typing my response, you can cut the buttstock off any number of shotguns and rifles. you can cut the barrels down too.

    Criminals have been doing it for years to get around handgun restrictions. Governments have banned cutting guns down for that reason.

    Care to come up with some actual numbers of cases where expensive rifles or shotguns were cut down? Seriously, you’re not making sense.

    Like I said, for someone claiming to think that the AWB was not a good law you certainly spend an awful lot of time defending the law’s proponents.

  60. Joe, have you ever tried to fire a long arm with only a pistol grip?

    Also, since the “firing into a crowd” argument has been mentioned several times, when has this happened?

    It is legal to openly carry a rifle or shotgun in most states where you need a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Why would your hypothetical maniac bother to conceal his weapon if he only was to shoot randomly? Wouldn’t he just open up with what he has? you are supposing a lot of forethought for what is supposed to be a psychopathic criminal bent on a killing spree.
    As Warren has pointed out, you can buy a shotgun with a pistol grip, and it isn’t covered under the AWB, so the idea that these laws actually would prevent someone from sawing off (?!) a legal stock is a bit silly.

  61. Oh, and Joe? The only intellectual dishonesty here is coming from you. Mediageek used the AR-15 as an example of a long gun with a pistol grip that is not particularly concealable, and you know it.

    You also know full well that almost any long gun, pistol grip stock or conventional, can have the stock sawn off to aid in concealment (at the price of making it impossible to shoot accurately.)

  62. Joe, have you ever tried to fire a long arm with only a pistol grip?

    Once is enough for a lifetime. Shooting a box of .454 was less painful.

  63. Try shooting a riot shotgun (pistol grip only) loaded with 3″ shells. I swear I got nerve damage in my right hand. That stopped real quick.

  64. See? ^^^^

  65. joe, re: cutting down firearms see Warty @ 3:42pm and robc @ 3:49pm.

    Both have demolished your “pistol-grip” notion.

    Just admit it, the pistol-grip ban is based on the same bullshit reasoning as the rest of the AWB.

    Actually, I see everyone else is handling this admirably so I’m done for this thread (unless you come up with something else as preposterous).

  66. I got dared to shoot a 3″ deer slug out of a riotgun. No more of that for this kid. Give me M1 thumb anyday.

  67. Episiarch,

    No one’s pointed out a mistake yet. As usual, they’ve deciced to hide behind insider speak to talk about how I have no right to even discuss the issue, because I don’t share their hobby, instead of arguing a case with facts and logic.

    Chris,

    No, not “suitability for combat,” in the sense of battlefield usefulness, but suitability for massacre. That seems to have been the central principle – singling weapons on the basis of whether they would make a McDonald’s massacre easier.

    robc,

    If the issue was sawing off the stock, why didnt they make a sawn off stock part of the law instead of the pistol grip? Because the goal was to prevent people from buying weapons that had legal configurations and then changing them into more dangerous weapons by modifiying them at home.

    BTW, how does a bayonet mount make shooting into a crowd easier? I don’t imagine it does. What it does make easier is stabbing people or fighting them off if they rush you.

    Seriously, wtf? I don’t need to explain to you why a bayonet makes a rifle more dangerous. I hate this “playing dumb” shit.
    I don’t do it.

    Isaac,

    Care to come up with some actual numbers of cases where expensive rifles or shotguns were cut down? No, because I’m not making an argument about the law’s effectiveness, but about the plausible nexus that exists between its language and a legitimate purpose. But to be quite blunt, I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about my motivations. My motivations, and your perception of them, are completely irrelevant to the question.

    Dangerman,

    Sign. More playing dumb. Why would your hypothetical maniac bother to conceal his weapon if he only was to shoot randomly? What are you, kidding me? You’re actually pretending not to know why someone intending to commit murder might want to conceal his weapon? No, I’m not going to answer that question. Meditate on it for a while.

    Jesus fucking Christ. What is wrong with you people, that you are so eager to take refuge is obvious, transparent, wholly-implausible pretenses of ignorance?

  68. Chris,

    Mediageek used the AR-15 as an example of a long gun with a pistol grip that is not particularly concealable, and you know it.

    No, he didn’t. He presented that example in order to refute the general case, that making a long gun shorter and less bulky makes it easier to conceal.

    I can’t believe the willful sloppiness on display here.

  69. Well mediageek, have you considered the possibility that not everyone on Capitol Hill is as brilliant as you, and maybe the law was written poorly in an effort to accomplish perfectly reasonable goals?

    Joe, if legislators don’t know anything about a subject, perhaps they really ought to refrain from drafting legislation until they objectively look at ways to accomplish their goals. Of course, objective and reasoned thought never stopped Carolyn McCarthy.

    Or that maybe you’re making things up – for example, by substituting “AR-15” for what I actually wrote, “long gun” – so that you don’t have to do the intellectual heavy lifing of reconciling two justified by competing objectives?

    Or, did you ever consider that perhaps I don’t own any other long guns with pistol grips?

    I mean, look at this: Even someone who’s completely unfamiliar with firearms can be taught to execute a sub-three second magazine change. Um, so what? This is the statement that you are presenting your argument as a rebuttal to: Large-capacity magazines make it easier to get off more shots before having to reload. So…what? Have you ever seen what panicked people full of adrenaline can do in three seconds? Cover almost 100′ of ground at a dead run, get around corner, warn a room full of people.

    So, it’s worth locking up law abiding citizens for possessing a stamped sheet metal box magazine because of what adrenaline-powered heroics that might happen during one of these vanishingly rare spree shootings that are executed with the use of firearms with standard-capacity magazines?

    Funny, you hold arguments you don’t agree with to godlike levels of precision, but something that kinda-sorta sounds like it might help make your case leads you to accept incredibly sloppy reasoning.

    Uh, or perhaps I’m citing specific examples wherein the ban on so-called “assault weapons” had no measurable impact on crime. A viewpoint you yourself have stated.

    Tell you what, you keep calling firearms “stamped sheet metal,” and I’ll call the Kelo decision “letters typed on paper,” and we laugh at all the fools who think such things are dangerous.

  70. Isaac,

    Both have demolished your “pistol-grip” notion.

    My notion that the reasoning behind the law was that pistol grips made it easier to cut down a long gun and conceal it?

    No, no they didn’t. What they refuted was the notion that the law was written in a manner that effectively advanced its purpose.

    Let’s go to the tape: No, the most benign interpretation of the AWB is that its proponents thought about the nightmare scenario of a sombody shooting at people in a crowd in a public place, and tried to ban weapons that would make it easier for him to do so and avoid being stopped.

    Flash suppressors make it harder to spot where shots are coming from. Pistol grips on long guns make it easier to hide on under a coat. Large-capacity magazines make it easier to get off more shots before having to reload.

    Agree with the law or not, it is possible to hold a different opinion about gun control without it being a secret plot to march all the gun owners off to a camp.

    This is not a statement about whether the people who wrote the law produced something effective.

  71. Joe:
    Tell me, KD, do you bring similar logic to your opinion about the dangerousness of laws?

    Yup I do, see below.

    Hey, an authorization for the President to order people tortured isn’t dangerous. I can sit here and stare at this piece of paper for years and it won’t torture anybody…blah blah blah.

    No, of course you don’t.Very dishonest argument. (tut tut, answering for me – very bad form chum! …and you are wrong.)

    Not dishonest actually, unless I answer the question as you anticipated – and I don’t! Yes, the logic remains as far as I am concerned – that piece of paper, or any other, is not dangerous – at least not until one or more humans with intent (and guns, such as a force of armed bureaucrats) act based on the piece of paper – it is the act that determines lethality…

    Read Balko’s stuff – is the warrant for a search lethal as long as it remains in a file cabinet – or is it the armed bureaucrats, guns ablazing acting upon the warrant that introduce lethality? (I’m tempted to answer for you, figuring I know what it would be, but I’m much too civilized.)

    Finally you get it: “The circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using the object” are variables that determine a weapon’s lethallity. Therefore, all variables that determine a weapons lethality are “the circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using the object.”

    You get a D.

    Joe, got it right this time, good on ya! Just a couple of little corrections though: Therefore, all variables that determine a weapons anything object’s lethality are “the circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using or acting upon the object”

    I’ll give you a B for stumbling on the right answer, but a C for the overall performance.

    And to sum up my position, It doesn’t matter what the object is a : (warning, gratuitious alliteration follows) piece of paper, pistol, pair of panties, pencil, popgun, pork chop or whether it has been folded, painted, washed, sharpened, corked, cooked, concealed, unconcealed, or whatever-ed (including sawn off or pistol gripped), it ain’t lethal until an act is applied to it by a human.

    Go to it Joe…

  72. OK, Isaac, for the new car, the trip to Maui, and the bedroom set: would that shotgun be easier to hide under a coat, or harder, if the rifle stock was cut off just behind the grip?

    If the Benelli M2 is similar to the Benelli M1, sawing off the stock would render the firearm useless as segments of the assembly including the recoil buffer spring are housed in the stock.

  73. What are you, kidding me? You’re actually pretending not to know why someone intending to commit murder might want to conceal his weapon? No, I’m not going to answer that question. Meditate on it for a while.

    No, what I am saying is how does the AWB in any way prevent him from killing people, given that there are few laws banning the OPEN CARRY OF LONG GUNS. The “Killer” could walk into many public spaces with a full length shotgun or rifle, without violating any laws. If he is on a crazy shooting spree, why bother with the obfuscation?

  74. Warty and Epi,

    I admire your fortitude, although not necessarily your brains. I was never dumb enough to try 3″ shells of out my 870 when it had the pistol grip on it, and I was pretty damn dumb as a youth.

  75. joe, you are quite the insane person. You are the idiot who started using specific firearm details to make your point, and you get huffy when people point out that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

    Keep digging, joe, you’re good at that.

  76. Tell you what, you keep calling firearms “stamped sheet metal,” and I’ll call the Kelo decision “letters typed on paper,” and we laugh at all the fools who think such things are dangerous.

    I didn’t call firearms that. I called box magazines that. In which case, that’s what they are.

    I find it quite perverse that during the era of the Clinton gun ban, a person could be arrested, charged with a crime, and jailed, simply for owning a stamped sheet metal box that was made after Sept. 13th, 1994.

    The point being that it’s absurd to ruin someone’s life just for ownership of what amounts to a few bits of metal and plastic.

  77. Joe, if legislators don’t know anything about a subject, perhaps they really ought to refrain from drafting legislation until they objectively look at ways to accomplish their goals.

    A much better argument, and an acknowledgement of my point. Please explain this Isaac Bertram.

    Or, did you ever consider that perhaps I don’t own any other long guns with pistol grips?

    No, because your personal details are completely irrelevant to the discussion. Imagine that, talking about facts without your opinion depending on your perception of somebody else.

    So, it’s worth locking up law abiding citizens for… You’ll have to take that up with somebody who thinks the law was a good idea.

  78. OK, KD, I’ll go to it:

    “If on the right people were in charge!”

  79. This is not a statement about whether the people who wrote the law produced something effective.

    I find your defense of people who ignorantly drafted deeply flawed and demonstrably ineffective legislation that had the potential to criminalize hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens to be very odd.

  80. Joe, you simply don’t know what you are talking about. you are citing facts that are incorrect, and refusing to acknowledge this.

    Flash suppressors make it harder to spot where shots are coming from.

    FALSE. Flash suppressors function by redirecting the muzzle flash away from the sights and eyes of the shooter. A person on the receiving end would see little to no difference in flash.

    Pistol grips on long guns make it easier to hide on under a coat

    Even if this IS true, it is not the primary function of a pistol grip, which is ergonomics and stability. Sawing a barrel down to a ridiculously short length would be more effective for concealment and for firing, and there are already laws that cover this, aside from the AWB.

    nightmare scenario of a sombody shooting at people in a crowd in a public place

    Again, joe, please linky linky to a factual account of this happening. Please.

  81. If the Benelli M2 is similar to the Benelli M1, sawing off the stock would render the firearm useless as segments of the assembly including the recoil buffer spring are housed in the stock.

    Like I said, hiding behind geek-speak to avoid uncomfortable facts. You KNOW that guns with stocks are cut down by criminals to make them more concealable, but you’re too intellectually dishonest to even admit that.

    Pathetic.

  82. Dangerman,

    Once again, are you kidding me?

    Look, I’ll give you one more chance: why might somebody who intends to commit murder want to conceal his weapon?

    Come on, use your imagination: how might things go differently if someone walks up to a McDonald’s with a rifle in his his hands for everyone to see vs. with it under his coat?

    I don’t believe for a moment you need me to answer this question for you. Not playing.

  83. You KNOW that guns with stocks are cut down by criminals to make them more concealable, but you’re too intellectually dishonest to even admit that.

    No, YOU know this, you with no knowledge about actual technical details that even a hobbiest gun-owner would understand. And, by the by, I can legally cut my stock however I want, as the shotgun in Warrens link was cut. It is cutting the barrel that is illegal.

  84. joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe

  85. I’m a pretty big dumbass, T, and I have a bottomless capacity for self-inflicted pain. I’m gonna go rock climbing in a few hours and almost certainly open up the blisters on my hands. It’ll be sweet.

    I find it quite perverse that during the era of the Clinton gun ban, a person could be arrested, charged with a crime, and jailed, simply for owning a stamped sheet metal box that was made after Sept. 13th, 1994.

    I’ve heard that no one actually was charged with simple possession alone. Any charges were just add-ons to drug dealers and such. It would be interesting to know if that wasn’t the case.

    You KNOW that guns with stocks are cut down by criminals to make them more concealable,

    Yes. I’ve never heard anyone besides you say that the pistol grip part of the AWB was supposed to make it harder to make a useful sawn-down weapon. Where did you hear this?

  86. You KNOW that guns with stocks are cut down by criminals to make them more concealable, but you’re too intellectually dishonest to even admit that.

    joe, you are so out of your depth that it’s actually funny. You do understand that you can cut off a stock and shoot a gun whether or not there’s a pistol grip involved? I guess not.

  87. Episiarch, if I’m such an idiot, why has nobody even attempted to refute my arguments?

  88. Hey, I learnded a word today. Eristic. I like it.

  89. joe | February 8, 2008, 4:17pm | #
    OK, KD, I’ll go to it:

    “If on the right people were in charge!”

    Nice side-step, but that ain’t the curret topic. (and I suspect you meant “only” the right people)

    I’d still disagree and say If only the “right” (whatever that means) people owned guns. If only people didn’t harbor animosity to their fellows. If only the planet was a nice mellow harmonious place.

    If only… one of the most victimy and useless gathering of words in the English language…!

  90. Dangerman,

    Google Stockton California AK-47.

    Google McDonald’s Massacre.

    You play more dumb than anyone I’ve ever argued with.

  91. Episiarch, if I’m such an idiot, why has nobody even attempted to refute my arguments?

    joe-gun threads get so quickly bogged down with feces-flinging and geekspeak that the point is quickly lost and nobody remembers what they’re arguing about. What are those arguments again?

  92. No, because your personal details are completely irrelevant to the discussion. Imagine that, talking about facts without your opinion depending on your perception of somebody else.

    Ok, here we go again:
    I wasn’t attempting to obfuscate anything.

    Tell you what, how about you go find any long gun with no stock and a pistol grip, and undertake an attempt to carry it concealed for any length of time, and get back to me with how easy you were able to do so.

    Like I said, hiding behind geek-speak to avoid uncomfortable facts. You KNOW that guns with stocks are cut down by criminals to make them more concealable, but you’re too intellectually dishonest to even admit that.

    So, technical details of particular makes and models of firearm are completely irrelevant to the discussion?

    Truly that is the mentality under which practically all gun control legislation germinates.

    I find it odd that when such discussions come up, those who possess the most applicable technical understanding are the first to be shunned. Much as you’ve demonstrated in this thread.

  93. I’m done.

    Too many cowards more interested in congratulating themselves for knowing a lot about a hobby, too little interest in honest and principled discussion.

    Pathetic.

  94. joe, you’re an idiot because you don’t realize how stupid your arguments make you look.

  95. OK, Joe, but my point remains unanswered: He can legally carry a full length gun up to that hypothetical Mickey-D’s. Why wouldn’t he? Someone would call the cops, and he would say “Hey I can do this legally.” And that would be that.

    Look, I’ll give you one more chance: why might somebody who intends to commit murder want to conceal his weapon?

    Joe, we allow people to conceal weapons. Concealing a weapon is already permitted and legal. What else have you got?

  96. Joe –

    Not true. You are making mistakes due to your apparent ignorance of shooting technique and culture.

    I’m fairly sure that Mediageek (and feel free to chime in on this, btw) presented the AR-15 as an example of a long gun with a pistol grip that is not easily concealed.

    Important point here – the 1994 VCCA referenced a (from memory, so spare me the cites) “…pistol grip that protrudes from the bottom of the weapon…”

    Note that the Act says nothing about the presence or absence of a stock, the removal of which would make the firearm somewhat more concealable.

  97. mediageek,

    So, technical details of particular makes and models of firearm are completely irrelevant to the discussion?

    YES!!!!!! In a discussion of the purpose behind a law, technical details are wholly and completely irrelevant to the discussion.

    Nobody’s shunning you for knowing a lot about your hobby. I’m shunning you because you’re hiding behind your technical knowledge to dodge the issue being debated.

  98. Joe, if a person is bent on committing a spree crime, do you really think that a law banning pistol grips is going to stop him from cutting a gun down as shown in Warty’s previous post?

    Or from substituting another firearm such as a handgun?

  99. From Wiki: “Huberty used a 9mm Uzi semi-automatic (the primary weapon fired in the massacre), a Winchester pump-action twelve-gauge shotgun, and a 9mm Browning HP in the restaurant,”

    Soooo, no pistol grips here, just the one on the….pistol. And no mention of any concealment.
    Strike 1

  100. I’m done.

    I knew that statement was too good to be true.

  101. RE: Stockton – No mention of concealment in any article I could find. And BTW, they make Kalashnikovs without pistol grips.

    …cowards….

    Ok Tuff Guy!

  102. YES!!!!!! In a discussion of the purpose behind a law, technical details are wholly and completely irrelevant to the discussion.

    Truly we have now spun off into a completely different universe.

  103. Jeebus, Dangerman.

    I didn’t want to talk to you like you were a fool, but you leave me little choice.

    Why wouldn’t he?

    Because people would LEAVE. They would suspect what he was up to, consider the situation dangerous, and leave. Or, they would call the police, and when the suicidal psycho starts shooting, he will have less time, because the police will show up faster.

    I don’t believe for a second this is confusing.

  104. The Uzi has a pistol grip, Dangerman. Unless there’s some bizarro version of the Uzi that doesn’t have one, but that seems pretty much impossible with the way those things work.

    Seriously, though. What was the argument that joe was trying to have, before we ruined everything?

  105. “”””The circumstances, intent, and effectiveness of the human using the object” are variables that determine a weapon’s lethallity.”””

    Actually, none of those metrics apply to the lethallity of the weapon its self.

    A firearm is considered a lethal force as opposed to non-lethal force.

    In a attempt to determine the difference of lethallity between weapons, the test paramaters of the individual must be consistant.

  106. “You KNOW that guns with stocks are cut down by criminals to make them more concealable…”

    I do know this, but I don’t care. Nor do I understand why I should care.

    What criminals do with their guns has no bearing whatsoever on what I should be able to do with mine.

  107. Warty | February 8, 2008, 4:23pm | #
    Hey, I learnded a word today. Eristic. I like it.

    Me too. Kinda rolls off the tongue.

    joe | February 8, 2008, 4:26pm | #
    I’m done.

    Too many cowards more interested in congratulating themselves for knowing a lot about a hobby, too little interest in honest and principled discussion.

    Pathetic.

    Hey Joe is that (Eristic) your last name? It doesn’t sound Irish.

  108. Seriously, though. What was the argument that joe was trying to have, before we ruined everything?

    Apparently joe’s point was that even the the AWB was a bad and ineffective law, the proponents had good intentions so he doesn’t hold an ill will towards the proponents.

    And then a bunch of other people started showing how despite the intentions of the proponents, the actual rules were stupid and ineffective.

    That pretty much sums it up right?

    What was that saying about the road to hell and god intentions?

  109. Having shot an UZI, I can tell you they’re exceptionally cumbersome, and the likelihood of successfully concealing one (with a shotgun even!) is practically nonexistent.

  110. mediageek,

    Joe, if a person is bent on committing a spree crime, do you really think that a law banning pistol grips is going to stop him from cutting a gun down as shown in Warty’s previous post?

    I don’t think it would deter him, no. I’ll plead agnosticism on whether having a pistol grip makes it easier to cut down a gun while keeping it usable. Once again, I’m not arguing that the law was well-written. I think it was not, and if you were only arguing that point, I wouldn’t disagree with you.

    It’s the unwarranted leap of logic – because the law was poorly written for its purpose, that means it had some other, nefarious purpose – that I was taking exception to.

  111. Having shot an UZI, I can tell you they’re exceptionally cumbersome,

    I once shot a full-auto one. WITH A SUPRESSOR! So much fucking fun. Clack clack clack whump whump whump.

  112. Joe, I’m not wearing a tinfoil hat.

    While there is plenty of evidence that those who supported the ban on so-called “assault weapons” were and are prohibitionists of the worst kind, I believe I’ve pretty much stuck to the facts of the law, it’s horrendous effect on lawful gun owners, and it’s all around ineffectiveness in stopping crime.

  113. Chicago Tom,

    That pretty much sums it up right?

    Sadly, it does not.

    RC Dean made the point that, because the details of the law were ineffective in accomplishing its purpose, we should assume that its stated purpose was a pretext for…and then some sort of slipperly slope argument.

    I pointed out that there is a much more plausible explanation for why people supported the law.

    And then several people decided that “you don’t know about guns” was somehow a relevant rejoinder.

  114. I once shot a full-auto one. WITH A SUPRESSOR! So much fucking fun. Clack clack clack whump whump whump.

    The one I shot wasn’t suppressed, but it was a FA owned by a guy who’s a collector and had jumped through the (arguably egregious) hoops to own one.

  115. I hardly think a law has to be made with bad intentions, for me to feel a justified sense of outrage at the drafters.

    One could argue, for instance, that the Iraq War was started with only the best of intentions…

  116. “I find your defense of people who ignorantly drafted deeply flawed and demonstrably ineffective legislation that had the potential to criminalize hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens to be very odd.”

    I had to come up with something. They were written by Democrats! It’s my jawb.

  117. because the law was poorly written for its purpose, that means it had some other, nefarious purpose

    Mistrusting lawmakers seems like a perfectly good default position to me.

    Though at some point as I got older, I realized that the people who disagree with me aren’t evil. An awkward realization, that.

    joe’s probably evil, though. Fucking papist micks.

  118. Now that the conversation had come back to Planet Earth:

    It is very easy to defeat the argument “People who support gun control laws are scheming ideologues who have a secret agenda of taking away everybody’s guns.” All you need to do is show one weepy victim’s mother and one non-absolutist gun owner, and the dark mutterings about secret plots look mean and ridiculous.

  119. Except that I don’t recall making that argument.

  120. RC Dean made the point that, because the details of the law were ineffective in accomplishing its purpose, we should assume that its stated purpose was a pretext for…and then some sort of slipperly slope argument.

    I pointed out that there is a much more plausible explanation for why people supported the law.

    The law was ineffective because it focussed on the object. Lots of laws on the books about actions already. Laws aimed at specific objects will always be ineffective and historically only introduced by folks with a social, moral, or simply evil agenda.

    And then several people decided that “you don’t know about guns” was somehow a relevant rejoinder.

    You’re right, it ain’t relevant to the 2d Amendment, or the writing of laws issue, but Joe, you did bring up a bunch of half-assed stuff that challenges folks “who do know about guns” so they responded. Possible solution: stick to the issue.

  121. And then several people decided that “you don’t know about guns” was somehow a relevant rejoinder.

    If someone is explaining the rationale behind a piece of legislation…let’s say the rationale behind banning a pistol grip, wouldn’t it be relevant to the discussion to know whether the explainer is actually informed about the subject matter he is explaining? Otherwise the explainer is merely acting like he knows what the mindset/thought process of the lawmaker is.

    If someone is gonna say “X Y Z was banned because it makes it easier to do A B C with a gun” then said some should have knowledge about guns and the X Y Z that is being banned — otherwise they are just talking out of their ass.

  122. Hey, let’s have an argument with joe regarding city planning. Let’s then make completely ignorant remarks about said planning, which we know nothing about, and when joe points out our mistakes, we can chastise joe for pointing out that we don’t know what the hell we’re talking about.

    Come on, it’ll be fun!

  123. I pointed out that there is a much more plausible explanation for why people supported the law.

    The most plausible explanation is that the people supporting the laws didn’t care about effectiveness or usefulness of the law. They merely wanted to score political points with certain special interest and certain segments of society.

    I think that the law was not only ineffective, but the rationale behind was not at all well intentioned, but was pure political opportunism.

  124. YES!!!!!! In a discussion of the purpose behind a law, technical details are wholly and completely irrelevant to the discussion.

    The above statement doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Technical details about the thing(s) you’re making a law about are irrelevant?

    Uh…what?

  125. By the way, using quotes only for actual quotations is considered proper form here – and elsewhere.

    “People who support gun control laws are scheming ideologues who have a secret agenda of taking away everybody’s guns.”

    That may have been someone’s argument, but I don’t recall that statement appearing.

  126. Warty, I was talking about the Uzi when I said “Pistol”. I know that the Uzi is technically a rifle, but it has never had rifle-style (monte carlo, or hunting) stocks, only an additional wood or folding stock. I was discounting it from my argument because it doesn’t fit the criteria of being ‘sawn off’ or having a PG as an added part.

  127. A much better argument, and an acknowledgement of my point. Please explain this Isaac Bertram.

    joe, reread my post at 3:40pm and note that I said practically the same thing.

    And when you first referred to pistol grips I thought you were speaking of pistol grips so I asked how a pistol grip made a long gun more concealable.

    So fine it turned out you were not talking about pistol grips per se but about sawing buttstocks off of shotguns. It had not occurred to me that that was remotely relevant. Sorry about the misunderstanding.

    OK, the congressmorons thought they’d stop the non-existent (for all practical purposes) crime of people cutting stocks off guns with pistol grips(although the crime – in many states – of cutting the buttstocks off cheap guns – that generally don’t have pistol grips – is actually quite prevalent). Fine, I get it.

    Episiarch, if I’m such an idiot, why has nobody even attempted to refute my arguments?

    That’s right, joe just insist that nobody’s attempted to refute your arguments when that’s pretty much what everyone’s been doing.

    And on top of that, you admit the AWB was a bad law, badly written and one that failed to meet any of its policy objectives (though most of us question whether it even addressed any policy objectives) and you continue to defend the writers as though “well they meant well” is an actual defense.

  128. It is very easy to defeat the argument “People who support gun control laws are scheming ideologues who have a secret agenda of taking away everybody’s guns.” All you need to do is show one weepy victim’s mother and one non-absolutist gun owner, and the dark mutterings about secret plots look mean and ridiculous.

    It doesn’t have to be a dark nefarious plot, if the outcome (total gun ban a la England, Australia) is the same.

  129. That’s right, joe just insist that nobody’s attempted to refute your arguments when that’s pretty much what everyone’s been doing.

    Thank you Isaac.

  130. I think that the law was not only ineffective, but the rationale behind was not at all well intentioned, but was pure political opportunism.

    A sighting of the nearly extinct RC Agreement With Chicago Tom!

    joe, the Stockton shootings, as I recall, involved full auto weapons that were illegal without a Class 3 license regardless of the assault weapons ban. There are many lessons to be drawn from that, if you think about it.

    “People who support gun control laws are scheming ideologues who have a secret agenda of taking away everybody’s guns.”

    Some of them are. They’ve admitted it quite openly. Many others are probably best regarded as “useful idiots.” None of them are doing anything to make anyone any safer.

  131. Not sure why I didn’t think of this earlier:

    Chopping the stock off of a shotgun or rifle that results in a weapon with an overall length of less than 26 inches would be a violation of the National Firearms Act, and therefore a felony.

  132. Stop confusing joe with facts, damn it!

  133. Just to show how far things can go here.

    First, joe said something about a pistol grip making a long gun more concealable.

    I then asked joe how a pistol grip would make a long gun more concealable. I then asked if he was referring perhaps to a folding stock (another feature banned under the AWB, incidentally).

    He then replied that he was not talking about pistol grips per se but the possibility that someone might cut a gun with one down.

    I then tried to convey the notion that I thought it more likely that someone cutting a gun down would do it on a much cheaper gun than most of those available with pistol grips and that the whole issue of pistol grips was irrelevant.

    Nowhere did I claim superior firearms knowledge nor did I refer to any nefarious gunnbanner plots. All I did was point out that the prohibition was stupid and pointless and failed utterly to address any reasonable public policy objectives.

    joe apparently believes this also. Which leaves me wondering, why did he invest so much time in making this argument?

  134. I think that there are two events being confused here:

    The Stockton elementary school shooting was done by a guy with a semi-auto AK clone.

    The McDonald’s shooting was in San Ysidro.

  135. Although I know that the case on the 2nd Amendment sucks (in that it almost definitively not in the ‘individual rights’ camp of the interepretation of the amendment), I can’t understand how anything like the “National Firearms Act” is in any way Constitutional, no matter what contorted view you take.

    I mean, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

    Shit, how hard is that?

  136. Nowhere did I claim superior firearms knowledge nor did I refer to any nefarious gunnbanner plots.

    Yeah, that one left me scratching my head as well.

  137. woops, that should read:

    ‘I know that the case LAW on the 2nd Amendment…’

  138. Which leaves me wondering, why did he invest so much time in making this argument?

    Issac, check the joe joe joe joe joe link a bit above for your answer.

  139. “””It is very easy to defeat the argument “People who support gun control laws are scheming ideologues who have a secret agenda of taking away everybody’s guns.””””

    To say all people who support…. would be a fallacy of generalization. However, ask anyone who supports gun control if they want to ban all guns. Out of the conversations I’ve had with pro-gun control folks, about 90% make no secret about their desire to take everyone’s guns.

    However, the use of the words “everybody’s guns” creates a hyper-technicallity in joe’s favor. Almost all gun control people agree to allow LEOs and the military to keep theirs. So they are in fact NOT for taking EVERYBODY’s guns.

  140. “””I mean, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

    Shit, how hard is that?””””

    I guess it’s one of the hardest things in the world to understand. Especially when people refuse to acknowledge the meaning of words as written in the dictionary or find the reasoning clause to distracting to continue readint.

  141. That should say

    …continue reading.

  142. R C Dean

    My understanding is that the Stockton shootings involved a legal (at the time) Chinese-made semi auto copy of an AK-47. It pretty much started the whole “assault weapon” foofaraw.

    There is no mention of a cutdown weapon or any attempt to conceal that I can find anywhere.

    Much was made of the Wounding effects of the AK-47 rifle used by Patrick Purdy but as the link shows these were largely exaggerated.

  143. Episiarch, right, thanks.

  144. Dangerman,

    It doesn’t have to be a dark nefarious plot, if the outcome (total gun ban a la England, Australia) is the same.

    That is much more plausible and effective argument.

    Isaac, no, nobody has been attempting to refute my argument. A number of people attempted to refute an argument I didn’t make – that the language of the assault weapons ban was well-crafted, wise, and demonstrates a broad knowledge of firearms – by as for my actual point, not so much.

    To say all people who support…. would be a fallacy of generalization

    Thank you, Tricky Vic. I’ve been trying to make this point for most of the thread, but since I don’t share people’s hobby, people have been reading all sorts of crazy shit into it.

  145. Oh, and Episiarch? Let me explain something to you;

    I don’t give a flying fuck about your opinion of me. I care less about what you think about me than about whether I get two dimes vs. a dime and two nickels in change at Dunkin Donuts.

    Within the universe of opinions you have about me that I don’t care about, your opinion about my knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons, oops, I mean firearms, stands out for my lack of concern.

    Now, clearly, it is a matter of great importance to YOUR self-esteem to be seen as very knowledgeable about baking – I mean, guns. Well, don’t worry; it is very clear to everybody reading this that you have invested a great deal of effort and time into becoming an expert on the minutae of ice skating – I mean, firearms. And I think that’s just terrific.

    Nonetheless, it is not important to me if everybody reading this thinks that I’ve never seen a loaded gun live and in person in my life. Here, watch this:

    Hey, Everybody! Episiarch knows a great deal more than me about firearms. If we were on Jeopardy, and the other player got eliminated at the end of the opening round, and one of the subject was “Firearms Trivia,” he would, like, totally run the whole category.

    I hope this clears up your confusion, because you seem to be laboring under the delusion that I give a crap about whether I get corrected on some detail about knitting – I mean, shooting guns – on these threads. Mmm-kay?

  146. Joe, google Stockton California SKS. AK-47 sounds better, but it was done with a Chinese SKS (type 56) semi-automatic rifle which is a copy of the 1945 Russian version. They are not generally fully automatic weapons. I have a manual on converting, but would never consider wrecking mine to do it. I bought the manual at a gun show in the 90’s. It was next to the booklets titled ~”did we fight on the wrong side in WW2″

    My point is…I just like to talk about guns.

  147. mediageek, Isaac,

    In response to a point I made about the intentions of the AWB – a point I made in response to RC Dean’s statement about those intentions – you two argued vociferously that I was wrong, and made all sorts of arguments about the efficacy of the regulations.

    I pointed out many, many times what my argument was, and how irrelevant to my point discussions of the technical details you were discussing were to that point. Nonetheless, you continued to argue about those points, as if to rebut me.

    If you didn’t intend your arguments to be rebuttals to my response to R C Dean’s point, then I trust you can understand how I could have interpreted them that way.

  148. A narrowly crafted individual right could win 7-2, he said.

    I can almost feel the entire staff of NPR getting the vapors…

  149. Doesn’t the ATF take a dim view of the possession of a gun with materials used to convert it? You might think about getting rid of that manual.

  150. mediageek

    I think that there are two events being confused here:

    The Stockton elementary school shooting was done by a guy with a semi-auto AK clone.

    The McDonald’s shooting was in San Ysidro.

    I think joe is referring to two mass killings to show that the writers of the AWB had good motivations for the law.

    He has admitted that he the law was badly written etc (everything I said above somewhere) so I have to ask, does he believe that good intentions without any knowledge of the subject, or for that matter, regard for the truth, are eniugh?

    A number of people attempted to refute an argument I didn’t make – that the language of the assault weapons ban was well-crafted, wise, and demonstrates a broad knowledge of firearms – by as for my actual point, not so much.

    Please point to a single post where anyone made such a claim.

    I, for one, asked a question. You responded with some arrant nonsense and I told you that it was nonsense.

    So, maybe noone has refuted your arguments as such (though frankly I’m now not sure what they were) but they have refuted the arguments of the AWBs advocates. And for some reason that’s what you have been defending.

    I mean, seriously, if you think the law was bad, why are you defending it?

  151. joe, I guess if you don’t think that technical details are relevant to the writing of legislation, especially that which affects so many people, I gues we really can’t have a meaningful discussions.

    After all, good intentions trump everything don’t they?

    Now if I your argument is not “they wrote a crappy piece of legislation, informed by hysteria and ignorance, but they just wanted to save the children, dammit, so everything’s OK,” then please explain or point to some post you made that says something different.

    And, by the way, as long as so many gun control advocates are on record as saying that their aim is to completely ban the private ownership of fiearms, then, yes, I believe that every piece of gun control legislation is a step towards that goal.

  152. I’m not defending it. I’m talking about its motivation.
    I’m not defending it. I’m talking about its motivation.I’m not defending it. I’m talking about its motivation.I’m not defending it. I’m talking about its motivation.I’m not defending it. I’m talking about its motivation.I’m not defending it. I’m talking about its motivation.

    Do I need to keep typing this, or can we say we’re clear on this?

    Here, why don’t I just repost the comments that got this all started:

    R C Dean | February 8, 2008, 2:58pm | #

    The problem with the assault weapons nonsense is that there is no simple definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon”.

    Very true. Most if not all guns banned as “assault weapons” are functionally identical to perfectly legal semi-auto rifles. Aside from the specific models banned (all of which have functionally identical replacements on the market), what was banned was a bunch of cosmetics like “flash hiders” and “pistol grips”.

    The most bening interpretation of the assault weapon ban was that it was meaningless feel-good legislation. No small number of its proponents regarded it as an important first step on the proverbial slippery slope of banning more and more guns based on various features.

    joe | February 8, 2008, 3:06pm | #

    No, the most benign interpretation of the AWB is that its proponents thought about the nightmare scenario of a sombody shooting at people in a crowd in a public place, and tried to ban weapons that would make it easier for him to do so and avoid being stopped.

    Flash suppressors make it harder to spot where shots are coming from. Pistol grips on long guns make it easier to hide on under a coat. Large-capacity magazines make it easier to get off more shots before having to reload.

    Agree with the law or not, it is possible to hold a different opinion about gun control without it being a secret plot to march all the gun owners off to a camp.

    OK? Are we clear? Do I have to explain this again?

  153. Warty

    Doesn’t the ATF take a dim view of the possession of a gun with materials used to convert it? You might think about getting rid of that manual.

    I don’t think a manual is enough, but an actual part is.

    The mere possession of the sear for an auto AR-15 is a violation of the law. I don’t recall but I don’t think you even have to own the reast of the weapon, but I could be wrong on that one.

  154. I guess I do.

    joe, I guess if you don’t think that technical details are relevant to the writing of legislation…

    No, Isaac, I don’t think technical details are relevant to THE MOTIVATIONS OF PEOPLE WHO WROTE LEGISLATION. I have said many times already that it was a bad law, because of its technical shortcomings. But that’s not what you want to hear, so you’re not going to hear it.

    I don’t see how I can make this any clearer. At this point, you either get it, or you don’t.

    Now if I your argument is not “they wrote a crappy piece of legislation, informed by hysteria and ignorance, but they just wanted to save the children, dammit, so everything’s OK,” then please explain or point to some post you made that says something different. Well, there’s the fact that I’ve never said it was OK. You imagined that. Made it up. Hallucinated it. Invented it from whole clothe. Read it into my comments, because it’s what you wanted to see.

    And, by the way, as long as so many gun control advocates are on record as saying that their aim is to completely ban the private ownership of fiearms, then, yes, I believe that every piece of gun control legislation is a step towards that goal. OK, and since many libertarians are on record as being contemptuous of the poor, then, yes, I believe that every libertarian economic policy is aimed at harming them. Gee, this is fun!

  155. OK, fine joe.

    You were defending the motivations of its proponents. And more that one commenter here has refuted those. Both on technical and public policy grounds.

    As near as I can tell you should have just screamed “won’t somebody think of the children?” at the top of you lungs and left it at that.

  156. Why did I argue this for so long? Simple.

    I come here for the exchange of ideas. “They’re trying to take away all our guns” is not a response to the ideas behind laws like this, or even an expression of ideas about the law’s efficacy. It’s just a paranoid straw man, and I was hoping to get the conversation back to something more interesting than “Those bastards want to exterminate us!”

    Yes, that last bit was hyperbole. Pretend not to get that if it will make you feel better.

  157. They are not generally fully automatic weapons. I have a manual on converting, but would never consider wrecking mine to do it.

    you don’t need to convert your rifle to get it to fire rapidly. You just need to learn how to bump fire The first is fully auto, the second is a semi-auto.

  158. “The problem with the assault weapons nonsense is that there is no simple definition of what constitutes an “assault weapon”.”

    There is a simple definiton of what DOESN’T constitute an “assault weapon” – any firearm that isn’t capable of firing in full automatic mode.

  159. I’ve wanted to try that bump fire thing, but I completely forgot about it last time I went shooting.

    This is just for libertarian gun nut circle jerk bragging rights. I’ve got the M-950:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bxE6MZlxGQ

    I think it jammed up during this promotional video. Mine worked great in the past, but now it seems it has to be perfectly cleaned and oiled to function well. Could also be the cheap and old ammo I used the last two times i fired it.

    Incidently, anyone remember a zine called “gun fag manifesto”?

  160. joe | February 8, 2008, 6:16pm | #
    Why did I argue this for so long? Simple.

    I come here for the exchange of ideas. “They’re trying to take away all our guns” is not a response to the ideas behind laws like this, or even an expression of ideas about the law’s efficacy. It’s just a paranoid straw man, and I was hoping to get the conversation back to something more interesting than “Those bastards want to exterminate us!”

    Yes, that last bit was hyperbole. Pretend not to get that if it will make you feel better.

    Joe, I’m confused – are you now saying you are a new “hyperbole” joe…

    joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe etc

    …a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, and is not meant to be taken literally.

    Earlier you were:

    joe | February 8, 2008, 4:22pm |

    joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe

    Eristic…a type of dialogue or argument where the participants do not have any reasonable goal. The aim is to win the argument and to not potentially discover a true or probable answer to any specific question or topic

    …or has this this actually overtaken you?

    joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe joe etc

    Bathos…it originally referred to a particular type of bad poetry, but it is now used more broadly to cover any ridiculous artwork or performance. More strictly speaking, bathos is unintended humor caused by an incongruous combination of high and low.

  161. Define “arm”.

    Is a tank an “arm”?

    Is a nuclear bomb? Cyanide? Sarin gas? A rocket launcher? A fighter jet?

    If any of the above is an “arm” under the second amendment, and it’s constitutional to ban them, then it’s constitutional to ban or restrict handguns or any other “arm” as well. If those things are “arms”, and it’s unconstitutional to ban handguns, then it’s unconstitutional to ban nukes as well.

    There’s another thing: The second amendment clearly allows, and actually requires, regulation on who is legally allowed to own an “arm” (that is, a “well regulated militia”). I think a fair NRA defintion of the militia would be to include all adult non-felon citizens of sound mind (this is much broader than the gun control definition, which is the National Guard). But under that definition, things like background checks on all gun sales (including at gun shows and between private parties), or requiring gun training courses before one could own a gun are legal, and, in fact, required (to provide regulation). Those background checks would be to prevent non-militia members (illegal aliens and foreigners of all types, the mentally ill, convicted felons) from purchasing guns.

  162. “The second amendment clearly allows, and actually requires, regulation on who is legally allowed to own an “arm” (that is, a “well regulated militia”).”

    No it doesn’t. The ennumerated right is “of the people” – not of the militia. And that operative phrase that ennumerates the right is in the INDEPENDENT clause of the sentence and is not contingent on anything in the DEPENDENT clause – which is where the “well regulated miltia” phrase is.

  163. There is a simple definiton of what DOESN’T constitute an “assault weapon” – any firearm that isn’t capable of firing in full automatic mode.

    Gilbert, explain yourself here. There is much wiggle room in your statement.

    You say “isn’t capable of firing in full automatic mode. By “isn’t capable”, do you mean wasn’t built at the factory and sold at the retailer as a full-auto weapon, or do you mean “has no means or capability, by post-manufacture or custom modification” to fire in full-auto mode? I have a .22 rifle, semi-auto, which can, by skilled gunsmithing be made to fire in full-auto mode– legality be damned. Is that .22 squirrel rifle now an “assault weapon”?

  164. I’m kinda new here, so maybe some of the regulars can help me out – is Joe always this much of a pretentious drama queen, or did I just happen by on one of his bad days?

    Oh, and: “There’s another thing: The second amendment clearly allows, and actually requires, regulation on who is legally allowed to own an “arm”” No. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment requires, nor even allows, any form of regulation of the ownership of arms. In this, the 2nd differs from, say, the 4th Amendment, which explicitly allows violations not deemed “unreasonable”.

  165. Those background checks would be to prevent non-militia members (illegal aliens and foreigners of all types, the mentally ill, convicted felons) from purchasing guns.

    Not that it is particularly pertinent to the discussion about the 2nd amendment, but there are foreigners and non-citizens who can legally own firearms (and like anything else, there really is nothing to stop anyone foreign or otherwise doing so illegally). Also able to become cops, soldiers, marines, etc and even vote in some elections. Ever hear of Permanent Residents? i.e. non-citizen legally entered into the country with a (so-called) “green card” and officially resident here.

    Not to mention that in many cases foreigners can bring their own firearms into the country without a background check.

    Again, the whole idea comes down to whether it is useful, practical, effective, or does anything other than make a few people feel better, to regulate, or create criminal legislation aimed at an inanimate object rather than focusing on whether an action of an actual live person is a crime.

    If (pick one) a foreigner/citizen/permanent resident, beats someone to death with a hockey stick, machete, baseball bat, frozen codfish, has a crime been committed? How about if the same person uses a gun? Before or after a background check if appropriate?

    Answer: who the hell cares, someone has killed someone else. Its a crime! Of what significance is the object, or it’s ‘legal’ status!?

    Chris | February 8, 2008, 8:02pm | #
    I’m kinda new here, so maybe some of the regulars can help me out – is Joe always this much of a pretentious drama queen, or did I just happen by on one of his bad days?

    From my readings here Chris, (and I’m not a regular – more of wannabe regular someday) ya pretty much got a normal dose of joe.

  166. Geotpf

    I have seen readings on the Second that say that “arms” (which “the people” have a right to bear) are small arms (rifles, muskets, pistols, sabres etc) and do not include heavy arms like artillery pieces, rockets* and the like.

    I don’t have enough of a legal or history background to make that determination but I confess (at the risk of losing my secret decoder ring) that I am comfortable with that distinction.

    *Although I doubt the founders would approve of fireworks bans. 🙂

  167. The 2nd amendment only applies to “arms”, as in “my hands are attached to my arms”. Apparently there was a time in history when people didn’t have a right to their arms and frequently had them taken away by the militia. That’s why the militia needed to be regulated.

    joe disagrees with this analysis, but he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  168. “Gilbert, explain yourself here. There is much wiggle room in your statement.”

    “You say “isn’t capable of firing in full automatic mode. By “isn’t capable”, do you mean wasn’t built at the factory and sold at the retailer as a full-auto weapon”

    Yes that is exactly what I mean.

    But you already knew that didn’t you?

  169. Yeah, and the 1st Amendment is a threat to book bans. What else is new? Geesh, some people hate this country.

  170. joe

    Why did I argue this for so long? Simple.

    I come here for the exchange of ideas.

    Really. Exchange of ideas, eh?

    When confronted with the motivations of the politicians who voted for gun control, you had to admit that they were informed by hysteria and ignorance. How this makes them qualitatively different from those who voted for war (oh wait, the same guys did, both in the Balkans and Iraq) and for endless surveillance of the populace (oh wait, same guys again) and the Drug war (whoops, they did it again). See the trend here, joe. Whoops, local politicians voting for “snob zoning”, same guys, joe. Do you wonder why some of us think that they are capable of voting for any restriction of liberty, up to and including mass imprisonment and even mass executions. Sorry joe, it doesn’t take a tin-foil hat to receive those messages, they’re coming in loud and clear for anyone that’s been around long enough.

    When confronted with the motivations of the lobbyists for gun control, you deny that their goal is the outright abolition of civilian ownership of firearms, in spite of abundant evidence.

    When confronted with the intellectual bankruptcy of the technical arguments of the advocates of gun control, you get deranged claiming that technical details are meaningless.

    And to top it of, you keep defending them all even though you admit they are wrong. Because, even though they were wrong, “they had good intentions”.

    Why don’t you just admit that you got off on the wrong track? After all some of us respect your loyalty to the New Deal, trade union, social democrat, central planning, special interest paradigm you’ve adopted no matter how marvelously anachronistic and stupid it is.

    Caution: those reading the foregoing should do so with their hyperbole glasses on. Those who know me have theirs. For the rest of you, well, I don’t give a fuck.

  171. Remember that the reason that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is the second amendment – not the fifth or seventh – is to protect the first amendment. It was not an accident that it was placed directly after the first amendment. The framers were not stupid.

  172. Thanks to everyone who repeatedly pwned the gun control crowd here. I couldn’t stop laughing.

  173. The United States exists in a post-Constitutional age. The Marxist/Socialists/Statists who own and operate the Congress and Presidency spit on the Constitution. We need to get past this type of begging and whining for our God-given rights and get back to…

    GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!

  174. joe is more fun than beating your wife. Seriously. How many women have been saved by joe’s selfless sacrifice?

  175. “Again, joe, please linky linky to a factual account of this happening. Please.”

    I have no link, but I remember an incident in California, somewhere in the San Jacquin vallye (Fresno, or Modesto maybe…) in the last ten years or so, where some murderous lunatic opened up on a bunch of kids in a school yard. Quite a few of them were killed. He was using an SKS, or similar, “assault weapon”. I am sure it could be googled.

    Having said this, I want to point out that Joe is completely wrong, as usual.

  176. ‘Pres. of the Senate’ Dick Cheney opposes the DC gun ban and the Bush Administration.

  177. This is the worst I’ve seen joe pwned in a long time. Seeing him repeatedly beaten down really brings out the sadist in me.

    Has joe ever admitted to being wrong about anything?

  178. oh hay hai gaiz. what’s going on?

  179. (Disclaimer: I only read the first half of the comments here, so my apologies if this has already been pointed out.)

    Joe,

    1. Buy yourself an AR-15.
    2. Go ahead and cut that stock down to “right behind the pistol grip.”
    3. Take said AR-15 to the range, and let me know how it works for you.

    You know the real pistol grip arguments have nothing to do with cutting down stocks. So let’s reconsider who’s being dishonest here.

    Or are you just another one of these people who thinks it’s OK to ban things you know nothing about? Ban those “shoulder things that go up!”

    Molon labe, you dumbass tyrant-enabler swine.

  180. Molon labe, you dumbass tyrant-enabler swine.
    ?????

    ???????????????

    huh?

  181. The whole “assault weapons” (more correctly assault STYLE weapons) ban was a joke from the beginning. The first list of “to be banned” weapons was drawn up by Diane Feinstein, who selected the weapons to be banned from a catalog based on their appearance. The original list included a B-B gun.

    Feinstein said on CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”

    The term “Semi auto” Technically incorrect as well as misleading. The proper term is “auto loader”, i.e. it automatically loads the next round. The refined list of attributes that made the weapons ban were:

    Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

    * Large capacity ammunition magazines
    * Folding or telescoping stock
    * Conspicuous pistol grip
    * Bayonet mount
    * Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
    * Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device which enables the launching or firing of rifle grenades)

    Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:

    * Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
    * Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or silencer
    * Barrel shroud that can be used as a hand-hold
    * Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
    * A semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm

    Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:

    * Folding or telescoping stock
    * Pistol grip
    * Fixed capacity of more than 5 rounds
    * Detachable magazine

    In other words, pistol grips, flash suppressors, folding stocks and bayonets and the like would be of no use to a lunatic murderer any way.

  182. How can justices like Scalia and Thomas vote for incorporation when they dont believe in it?

    Wouldnt it be funny if the 2nd Amend was found to be an individual right and incorporated, but it was with the votes of Ginsberg and Souter and Stevens but not Scalia and Thomas?
    That is possible. Conservatives would lose their sense of reality.

  183. I think the pistol grip ban has nothing to do with preventing shortening the stock. I believe the motivation for the pistol-grip ban is that virtually all military small arms have a pistol grip, I know of no exceptions. By including the pistol-grip ban in the assault weapons ban the weapophobes effectively banned all military-grade rifles, which was their intent.

    As others have pointed out, it is legal to saw the butt-stock off a rifle or shotgun and the resultant weapon is still fairly easy to handle, so to argue that the pistol-grip ban was meant to prevent such modifications seems wrong to me.

  184. A “victory” in Heller won’t mean spit in the wind if the ATF continues to ignore all law and precedent as they run amok framing innocent gun owners in cases like US vs. Olofson. As we see with illegal immigration, we are moving increasingly out of the constitutional rule of law and further down the road of the rule of man, which is to say, the law of the jungle. They, in this case the ATF, can and will do anything you can’t or won’t stop them from doing. Heller, like all other laws, means nothing to rogue agencies. Sooner or later, somebody is going to get shot. Probably a whole lot of somebodies.

  185. wayne

    The Stockton schoolyard shooting has been referred to several times in this thread.

    Since it involved an off the shelf unmodified Chinese made AK copy the story doesn’t come close to satisfying my request for a time that a mass killing was done with a cut-down weapon.

    joe is plain and simply wrong. The pistol grip was banned because it looks “scary” not because it made a sawed off weapon any easier to use.

  186. The supreme court will rule against gun ownership, and it will have nothing to do with the interpretation of our constitution. This is United Nations pressure to disarm our country. I know, I know, I sound like a raving gun crazed pry the gun from my cold dead hand person, I am not. I have watched for the last 20 yrs our constitution fold to U.N. laws. have you heard this battle over gun rights on any major news network? Nope. Ask yourself why. This is a country changeing issue, Why has Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, and other hollywood figures make more news than this country changeing issue.

  187. Don’t care what the founding fathers “intended”
    Don’t care what laws get passed.
    There will always be guns.
    I will always have them.
    Feel free to turn yours in.
    I promise, I will be a kind master.
    I will keep you SAFE.
    You will bow down and obey me.
    You will serve me like the slave you long to be.

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